Finding John Brown’s Birthplace, Right Here in Torrington, Conn.

Most of us associate abolitionist John Brown with Harpers Ferry, Va., where he led the famous raid on a federal armory in October 1859. The complex of buildings had 100,000 guns that Brown planned to use to help Black slaves to escape and find freedom.

He was hung that year in December for this and other crimes related to his lifetime dedication to ending slavery.

Brown is also famous for his raids and abolitionist activities in Kansas.

Brown traveled widely across the United States during his lifetime, but he was a native of New England and mostly lived in Connecticut and New York state. 

Anyone with even  modest interest in local history knows that Brown was born in Torrington, Conn. The home where he spent the first five years of his life was adjacent to the site of the University of Connecticut’s Torrington branch (which is now owned by the Five Points Gallery).

In 2002, state archaeologist Nick Bellantoni and a team of volunteers began an excavation of the site where the Brown family home had once been. 

A description of what they found and a history of Brown’s life is now available in PDF form and in a short video from the Torrington Historical Society. To find them and other articles of interest about this part of Litchfield County, go to www.torringtonhistoricalsociety.org.

A PDF and video from the Torrington Historical Society explains the life and work of abolitionist John Brown, and his connection to Litchfield County, where he was born and spent the first few years of his life. Image from the John Brown birthplace

Image from the John Brown birthplace

Image from the John Brown birthplace

A PDF and video from the Torrington Historical Society explains the life and work of abolitionist John Brown, and his connection to Litchfield County, where he was born and spent the first few years of his life. Image from the John Brown birthplace

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